The app market is a global force, so developers often want their apps to be available in several different regions. Until recently, certain apps were unavailable in South Korea, due to age restrictions on content. To help with this, Apple has updated the criteria for age ratings on apps made available within the region. This allows apps with certain content to be available there. However, part of the change is impacting apps worldwide, whether or not they’re sold in South Korea.Continue reading
The app market is global, reaching users on every nation and in every language. Many developers have apps available in several countries, which requires localizing their App Store and Play Store listings for the languages they’re available in. As localization is an important part of App Store Optimization, it’s important to understand how to maintain ASO during the translation process.Continue reading
Apple Search Ads has added a new reporting feature that will make it even easier for developers to track their app’s performance for a wide array of metrics. In addition to the new reporting tools, it’s also expanding its availability to nine more territories, allowing developers to reach more users around the world with their Search Ads campaigns.
Acquiring mobile users is critical for new apps – as new apps need enough data to see how users are using the app and optimize in-app items, loops, gamification elements and notifications.
For established apps, acquiring users helps app store rankings which results in more downloads.
From games to shopping apps and everything in between – we all want more users for our mobile apps.
Here are five simple and cost-effective ways you can increase your app downloads:
Localizing your app (making it relevant to varying locales) is a great way to help increase downloads.
There are several ways you can localize your app, increase downloads, and acquire users worldwide.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to do just that is to make the app listing accessible in a variety of languages.
You can do so by translating your app title, keywords and description into a variety of popular languages such as Simplified Chinese, Spanish, French and German.
Combine this with:
– using locally-relevant keywords in your description
– declaring required permissions
Localization of an app listing is one of the proven ways for many mobile apps to increase app downloads and improve their mobile user acquisition in non-English speaking countries.
Free for a day app promotion sites
With 1.5 million apps available in both Apple and Google app stores, any opportunity to stand out can pay huge dividends.
News flash – consumers love free stuff.
That could be paid apps that are free for a day, or even a free in-app item like a special virtual good or removing ads.
Capitalize on this opportunity and spike app installs by promoting to your list of customers and prospects, or partner with one of the many app promotion sites.
Managing your own promotion is as simple as changing the cost of an in-app item or your app and sending an email. Bonus points if you use deep links to send clicks to an in-app landing page.
The giveaways will boost your download numbers and organic app store rankings, and is likely to work well in conjunction with the other tips in this article to help make your app more popular in the long run.
A/B test your creatives (Icon and Screenshots)
App users want to see what it is they are installing – even if free – and rightly so.
To ensure that the app listing creative elements of your app are as strong as the app itself, and communicate the correct message (features/benefits), consider a focus group and running A/B tests on a portion of live traffic.
Simply – your app icon is the first thing a user sees, the more appeal it has, the higher the likelihood that it will be download.
A/B testing allows you to decide which designs resonate best with users and aid in your mobile user acquisition.
Guest post/Partner with niche influencers
While not every blog will write articles about your app that convert into app downloads, a guest spot on a relevant blog or other social channel can provide a spike in users without any spend (other than time on outreach and content).
With costs per install exceeding $2, and relevant coverage providing a long-term asset, activating a influencer network is a growing component of app marketing.
Seek out niche influential blogs or social channels (think Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest) relevant to your app and offer to write a post on how your app solves a problem for their audience, or whatever angle makes sense for your app and the channel.
A common strategy for building a social channel is partnering with others with similar audiences and audience sizes to share and cross-promote content – resulting in a building of both audiences.
It may make sense to develop your own channel when reaching out to relevant influencers so that you are offering content that is interesting to their audience, while building your own direct path to communicating to those via a larger audience on your own channels.
Run a Cost-Per-Install (CPI) Campaign
Of course we know buying installs is always an option, but the real goal is the acquire mobile users that have a high lifetime value (LTV) compared to the cost per install.
Goal = LTV > CPI.
Simple in theory, harder to achieve.
By combining an ongoing investment in app store optimization with a CPI campaign, the organic lift as a result of the ASO can essentially subsidize the cost of paid installs.
Not only do mobile users acquired via organic app store search produce higher LTVs, but rankings achieved organically provide a long-term advantage over apps that burst their way to a short-lived top.
Dave Bell goes into more in this guest post for Venture Beat.
To get your CPI campaign going, consider running a campaign on Facebook and other networks that provide tools for advanced targeting by user.
All 5 of these strategies for acquiring new mobile users starts with a solid foundation, an optimized app store listing for better visibility and maximum conversion.
In 2015 China surpassed the US in the number of iPhones sold and in app downloads.
Japan generated more revenue on Google Play than the US or the UK.
For 2015, which of the below countries had more downloads on Google Play than the UK, Canada and Germany?:
Answer: All of them!
There’s users and revenue in them there hills.
App store localization
While localizing your entire app may make sense, there is a way to test the market before committing to a full localization – localizing only your app’s store listing metadata.
Even before localizing your app screenshots or icon, you can get an idea of the potential ROI of a complete app localization by starting with localizing and optimizing the keywords and phrases your app targets in the app metadata.
Since the descriptions and app title in Google Play and the app name and keywords field in Apple are built off of the phrases you are targeting – we’ll focus why and how to localize app keywords in this post.
iOS App Store localization
For an iOS app listing we recommend an app name format of
- “App name – feature #1, feature #2” or
- “App name – keyword rich tagline”
When localizing, you may decide to keep the app name consistent but change the features or tagline that follows the app name using words the localized target market is using to find apps like yours.
OK – where do I start?
The Apple App Store distributes to over 150 countries in over 40 languages.
Looking at the downloads and app store revenue generated by each country can help us focus our efforts.
China, US, Japan, Australia, UK, Germany, Canada and France are the largest iOS app stores by volume and revenue. South Koreans and Asian app consumers in general tend to spend more per user than their western counterparts, especially on games – so adding South Korea to this list may make sense as well.
China has become too big to ignore. The US, UK, Canada and Australia are all English – which makes the localization effort a bit easier. French is represented in Canada and France.
With a little effort you can localize and optimize for 5 huge app stores (countries) in addition to the US.
Google Play Store localization
For the app title in Google Play, we recommend a format of:
“App name – Feature#1”
Secondary features would then be used in the short description, and all target terms in the full description.
Hiring a writer to write a description using your targeted keywords and phrases for the full description is a much better approach than translating your English description.
Many services even provide a translation level that translates the meaning of the original and not the literal.
Spend a moment translating American idioms into Spanish to see how easy it is to communicate the wrong thing when translating literally.
The largest Google Play stores by revenue are the US, Japan, South Korea and Germany. Brazil, Russia, India and Mexico drive significant downloads.
Localization best practices
Avoid a straight translation from Google Translate.
The process of localizing an app listing for another country looks a lot like your ASO process in English.
- How are users looking for your app or apps with similar or related features?
- What keywords and phrases do Apple and Google see as relevant?
- What are your app’s most important or distinguishing features?
- What words and phrases work together to provide the largest, relevant app store search coverage?
The same questions should be answered for each app store you are targeting.
Aim for the meaning vs the literal translation
We have talked quite a bit on this blog about the difference between how users search the web and how users search the app stores.
Just like how it is not a good idea to use web search data for determining relevant app store search terms or traffic, building a list of target keywords and phrases in a new language should not just be a translation of your existing keywords field.
When you spend any significant amount of time in a foreign country – the amount of communication using colloquialisms or idioms becomes hilariously apparent.
This is as true for Americans visiting England as it is when visiting Colombia or Russia. Even San Diegans and folks from Montgomery, Alabama have completely different ways of communicating ideas.
Consider that the Apple App Store has 4 types of English (US, Canada, UK, Australia).
The approach of hiring a writer to translate your descriptions using your localized app keywords will cost a bit more but the alternative – hiring a writer to provide a literal translation – is probably not worth doing at all.
As with much of optimization – measure what works, improve what doesn’t and increase the investment in localization as the ROI becomes more clear.